The plan by the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) to consolidate or dissolve small medical schemes posed risks to the people who belong to these schemes and might force some to drop their cover, industry sources warned this week.
More than 228,000 people belonged to 31 medical schemes that had fewer than 6,000 members at the end of 2015, according to the CMS 2015-16 annual report. All but three of these schemes are restricted employer groups. Restricted employer group schemes generally subsidise members on low incomes, enabling them to buy cover they could not afford on the open market.
CMS acting registrar Sipho Kabane said consolidating the industry was in line with the white paper on National Health Insurance (NHI).
Medical schemes with fewer than 6,000 principal members were targeted as they fail to meet the requirements of the Medical Schemes Act. The act says schemes must have 6,000 members to register.
Consolidation was necessary because fragmented r